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IMEX 2007: Urbanisation debate inspires green win for Globe

( The GLOBE Foundation of Canada’s organisation of the bi-annual World Urban Forum Conference, on behalf of UN Habitat and the Government of Canada, has been awarded the highly prestigious “Gold” 2007 IMEX Green Meetings Award. The “Silver” runners-up award was made to DNC Parks and Resorts, Yosemite, for the 2006 Sierra Business Council Conference.

IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom, presented the respective winners with their Green Meetings Awards at last night’s IMEX Gala Dinner. Picking up the Gold Award on behalf of the Globe Foundation was Barbara Maple, President of the Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre who was a key partner in the delivery of the event and Ginny Stratton of Strategin Solutions who was responsible for the event. John Huey, Director of Stewardship for DNC Parks and Resorts collected the award on behalf of the team in Yosemite.

Explaining why the six-day, 10,000 participant WUF3 conference in Vancouver was chosen above other entrants, Shawna McKinley, head of the judging panel said, “This meeting had its own holistic plan which, although driven by the organisers, engaged all participants and exceeded the baseline for sustainable practice. The application was so strong that it certainly lived up to – and arguably has now set - a new gold standard for environmentally responsible meetings.”

Each application was reviewed against three criteria: the conference venue, the conference hotels selected, and the conference itself, including catering and trade show.

The WUF3 was a “green-mandated” conference hosted by UN-Habitat and the Government of Canada, and organised by the GLOBE Foundation of Canada. The conference addressed delegates from 150 countries on the issue of the rapid urbanisation of the world’s population. As event organisers, GLOBE created a detailed greening programme that successfully integrated event operations with marketing, promotions and communications. They instigated a green procurement strategy, which also helped reduce the environmental impact of daily office activities. In addition they set out to make the conference carbon neutral. Planning focused specifically on waste minimisation, pollution reduction and energy conservation and actively engaged suppliers and delegates.

The chosen venue, the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre, offers an exemplary set of green features including seawater cooling systems and a detailed energy efficiency programme. Other benefits such as low flow toilets, a recycling programme for organic waste, use of re-useable glassware and utensils and the use of green certified housekeeping and cleaning products all met with the organisers’ stringent requirements.

Commenting on the work that went into the conference and on winning the Gold Award, Ginny Stratton, formerly Sustainability Initiatives Manager of the GLOBE Foundation of Canada said “Winning the IMEX Gold Green Meetings Award demonstrates that an event as large and multifaceted as the World Urban Forum has the ability to promote best practice in sustainability not only in the cities and communities that are the focus of the Forum but also in the events industry. The third session of the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum (WUF3) brought together 10,000 participants from over 150 countries to discuss actionable ideas for integrating sustainability into our cities and communities. We are elated our efforts to ensure WUF3 embodied the principles of sustainability are being recognized through the Award and hope our efforts will have a legacy impact on the events industry."

The IMEX Green Meetings Silver Award was presented to John Huey of Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts.

Huey explained that, although DNC Parks & Resorts has a unique responsibility for sustainable practices, as its properties are located in US national parks, the Sierra Business Council were delighted that the partnership produced several fresh ‘green’ ideas. As a result, many of the new practices have since been incorporated into the venue’s everyday services. Measurable achievements at the SBC Conference included 50% of meals being produced using local, sustainable produce and waste reduction of 70% thanks to recycling, composting, reuse and minimisation of packaging.

Commenting on the win, Huey said, “DNC applied for the IMEX award to seek validation of the importance and success of our Green Meeting efforts. As is registration of our GreenPath environmental management system to ISO 14001, this prestigious award is independent confirmation that Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts can provide excellent service to our conference and meetings customers in environmentally friendly ways. These meetings showed that our system works.”

Media Contacts:
Carina Bauer
Tel +44 (0) 1273 227311
Kit Watts
Mob (0)7968 417518

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